Columbus Crew SC will host the Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in hopes of its second straight win at MAPFRE Stadium. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Black & Gold’s contest with the Dynamo.
LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING
On March 7, 2015, Crew SC headed to BBVA Compass Stadium to meet the Dynamo in the clubs' season-opener of that year. Houston emerged with the 1-0 victory following a goal from Giles Barnes.
LAST THREE REGULAR-SEASON MEETINGS
08/23/2014: CLB 3 vs. HOU 2 W MAPFRE Stadium
09/13/2014: CLB 2 at HOU 2 D BBVA Compass Stadium
03/07/2015: CLB 0 at HOU 1 L BBVA Compass Stadium
CREW SC LOOKING TO EXTEND HOME UNBEATEN STREAK AGAINST DYNAMO
The only regular-season clash between Columbus and Houston this season, Crew SC is looking to extend its eight-match unbeaten streak against the Dynamo at home, dating back to April 26, 2008. All-time, Columbus is 5-1-4 against Houston in Central Ohio.
MERAM REGISTERS CAREER PERFORMANCE AGAINST NEW YORK CITY FC
Last weekend against New York City FC, Crew SC midfielder Justin Meram registered a one-goal, two-assist performance in the Black & Gold's 3-2 victory. It was the first two-assist match of Meram's MLS career as well as the first contest in which the former University of Michigan player recorded a combined three goals and assists. In the contest, Meram was credited with five chances created, according to Opta. That represents a personal single-match career-best dating back to his Crew SC debut on May 28, 2011.
FINLAY RECORDS ONE-GOAL, ONE-ASSIST MATCH
In Crew SC's 3-2 win over New York City FC, midfielder Ethan Finlay notched one goal and one assist. It was the sixth time in Finlay's career that he registered at least one tally and one helper in the same contest. The goal he scored was his 24th career regular-season tally in Black & Gold, breaking a tie with Brian Maisonneuve to move him into 10th place in team history.
TAREK, SARAVIA DEBUT FOR BLACK & GOLD
Both defender Amro Tarek and midfielder Rodrigo Saravia made their club debuts last weekend against New York City FC as second-half substitutes. Tarek and Saravia became the fourth and fifth players to make their team debuts this year, joining Conor Casey, Emil Larsen and Ola Kamara.
PIPA REGISTERS GAME-WINNING ASSIST
Federico Higuain notched the game-winning assist on Justin Meram's 80th-minute goal against NYCFC last weekend. The 11th game-winning helper of his Black & Gold career, the Argentine now ties Brian McBride in the category for third place in Crew SC history.
CREW SC AMONG MLS LEADERS IN PASSING
According to the League’s official statistician, Opta, Columbus Crew SC currently ranks second in the League in passes attempted per match with 478.2. Crew SC also ranks second in the League in completed passes per match (388.5) and in overall passing accuracy (81.3%).
BLACK & GOLD PLAYERS AMONG TOP PASSING INDIVIDUALS
Through his first six matches in the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season, Crew SC midfielder Wil Trapp leads the League in successful passes, with 366. Meanwhile, Federico Higuain ranks third in MLS in successful passes in the opposing half (181) while Trapp is tied for fifth in that category (175). Finally, among players with at least 100 passes attempted, Mohammed Saeid ranks third in MLS in passing accuracy (91.0%) with Trapp in 10th (87.6%).
RED CARD SWITCHED TO WAHL, LATER RESCINDED
On Monday Major League Soccer changed the 86th-minute red card shown to Michael Parkhurst last weekend against New York City FC to Tyson Wahl. Following an appeal filed by Columbus Crew SC on Wahl's behalf, the League then rescinded the red card entirely on Thursday. As a result, both Parkhurst and Wahl are set to be available for this contest against the Houston Dynamo.
KAMARA MOVES UP BLACK & GOLD RECORD BOOKS
Forward Kei Kamara scored his 29th all-time Crew SC goal last weekend, breaking a tie with Dante Washington to move into eighth place in all-time club history.
ASHE, KAMARA TO FACE FORMER CLUB IN DYNAMO
In this weekend's match against Houston, Black & Gold players Corey Ashe and Kei Kamara are slated to face-off against their former club. Ashe began his MLS career in Houston and played parts of nine seasons with the side from 2007 through 2015, making 211 appearances while registering one goal and 18 assists. Kamara made 32 appearances for Houston in 2008 and 2009, scoring six goals and adding three assists.
CLARK ON THE VERGE OF SEVERAL MILESTONES
Goalkeeper Steve Clark, who has started every regular-season match since the beginning of the 2014 season, is on the verge of several milestones after recording his 30th Crew SC win last weekend against New York City FC. Clark's next start will be his 75th for Crew SC. Additionally, Clark is six saves away from reaching 250. Only three other goalkeepers have ever hit 75 starts for Columbus (William Hesmer, Jon Busch, Andy Gruenebaum) while just four have reached 250 stops in team history (William Hesmer, Jon Busch, Mark Dougherty, Andy Gruenebaum).
WAHL APPROACHING 150 APPEARANCES
Defender Tyson Wahl started his first match of the 2016 season for Columbus last weekend against New York City FC, and he has notched two total appearances this campaign for Crew SC. Wahl's next appearance will be the 150th of his MLS career. Entering this weekend's matches, 66 active MLS players have reached that milestone all-time, including Black & Gold teammates Kei Kamara, Corey Ashe, Conor Casey, Michael Parkhurst and Tony Tchani.
CREW SC HOSTS ITS FIRST-EVER CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL
For this match against Houston, Crew SC is hosting its inaugural Craft Beer Festival. By purchasing a special Craft Beer Festival match ticket, supporters 21-and-over can enjoy a tasting of 10 different craft beers in the Stadium Club tent pre-match before heading to their seats.
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN
Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. ET start is available via regional television on The CW Columbus, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and BCSN2. Neil Sika (play-by-play), Dwight Burgess (analyst) and Marisa Contipelli (sideline) are set to have the call of the match on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and BCSN2, “Crew SC Matchday,” the exclusive pre-match show, starts at 7:00 p.m. ET with Chris Doran and Marisa Contipelli, and “Crew SC Post-Match” immediately follows the action only on TWCSC and BCSN2. The CW Columbus' broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Locally, the contest is available via the radio in English on CD102.5 FM and in Spanish on La Mega 103.1 FM. The English radio broadcast also is set to stream live on ColumbusCrewSC.com. A complete list of places to catch the Black & Gold on TV is available here. The game can be watched internationally via the following: Abu Dhabi Sports, LETV, BeIN Sports Australia, BeIN Sports Asia, Sportcast, Eurosport, Sky Sports.